#164 June Status Report

June 4, 2021

This month’s report is about new items added to EnterTRAINment Junction’s (EJ’s) layout. As is usual for these reports, the order of the descriptions will be in the order a visitor would come upon them while walking the layout’s aisle.

First up, on the canal that runs parallel to the aisle, just past the civil war camp, there’s a new scene of a river boat being unloaded (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Unloading Canal Boat
Figure 1. Unloading Canal Boat

Just past the aisle tunnel that leads from the Early Period to the Middle Period, across the trolley tracks from the open-air market, the former warehouse has been replaced with a new set of buildings, including, most prominently, a drug store with a soda fountain, at the near corner (Figure 2).

Note the vacant area behind the market and the new buildings. This was the location of another large and mostly uninteresting warehouse. It will be replaced by another, much more interesting and nostalgic feature currently in work. That will be covered in “excruciating” detail in a future report or two, depending on how well it turns out.

Figure 2. New Buildings by the Open-Air Market

A few steps down the aisle beyond the open-air market, on the lower main-track level is a new maintenance facility for passenger cars, with its most noticeable work being the removal and repair of the cars’ trucks (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Passenger Car Maintenance Facility
Figure 3. Passenger Car Maintenance Facility

On the other side of the Middle City, across from the museum’s big locomotive wheels, the former passenger-car-diner has been replaced by a gas station with a convenience store (Figure 4). With the Airliner Diner, the Grand Hotel Restaurant, the Elwood Grill, and the Ice Cream Stand all nearby, the old diner just couldn’t survive with all that competition.

Figure 4. Gas Station and Convenience Store

Just a bit farther along the aisle, visitors can see part of the park that’s located on the shelf on the Mezzanine wall next to the upper aerial tram station. A better view of the park can be had from up on the Mezzanine (Figure 5). The park includes a lake with a painted bottom, inspired by Mirror Lake in Cincinnati’s Eden Park, which has a complex colorful design painted on its bottom.

Figure 5. Park Complete on the Mezzanine Shelf

The final item in this report is the addition of a control panel for the turntable and roundhouse (Figure 6). Instead of a random-appearing sequence of activities that occurred when the previous aisle button was pushed, the new control panel now allows visitors to choose which action sequence they would like to see executed. This greatly enhances customer interest by giving them more control over what will happen and will focus their attention where the action occurs.

Figure 6. Turntable Control Panel
Figure 6. Turntable Control Panel

And so, the work on layout enhancements has continued, with the mundane being replaced by the sublime. And, there’s more to come. Come see it!

©2021 Tom Bartsch

MVGRS Big Train Project Coordinator